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228                                     VERDICT  OX  INDIA

Is there anything to be said for the States ? Surely, if we are
practical men. that is the first matter that we should endeavour
to decide. We can best decide it by paying a visit to one of them.

Toward^ five o'clock in the evening, if you are looking out of
the window of a train travelling from Bellary to Bangalore, which
is the second City of Mysore State, you will suddenly notice a
remarkable change in the landscape. It is not a floral or topo-
graphical change; it is a social change. After endless vistas of
broken-down villager stony fields and half-starved cattle, the eye
is refreshed by neat thatched houses, green acres, swelling pastures,
and herds of beats that would do credit to the home countries.
The change is so startling that the inquisitive traveller is; impelled
to ask what has happened. The answer is :
'We have just crossed the border from British India; we are
now in the State of Mysore.5
The reaction on the Englishman who learns this news for the
first time is.. .or should be.. .disquieting. He says to himself:
c If there is this extraordinary contrast between, the prosperity of
Mysore and the poverty of British India, which we have just left
behind us, then there must be something seriously wrong with
British India/ We will examine this reaction shortly ; it is natural
and healthy and demands an, answer. At the moment, however,
let us look more closely at these blooming fields and these flourish-
ing villages; for if they stand up to closer scrutiny they should
give pause to those Indian commentators who so lightly assume
that the States are worthless anachronisms, bundles of rubbish
that must be fed to Congress flames.
Alighting at Bangalore we find a modern city, well lit, well
paved, and—for India—almost clean,. The indescribable filth
which litters the pavements of most Indian cities, the stagnant
gutters, the fly-blown piles of excrement.. .all these are absent*
Even the fa'agic army of dogs, those bundles of disease and misery^r
<lo not make their appearance. We learn that the Maharajah,
.although a devoutly religious man, has actuaBy had the courage